ST. LOUIS, Mo. — Bissinger’s Handcrafted Chocolatier will now be run by the Abel family. They're the same people that own another St. Louis candy company, Chocolate Chocolate Chocolate. They assumed all operations in July.
The announcement was made Monday but the deal had been in the works for months.
Tim Fogerty, the former CEO of Bissinger's, said he's leaving the business to focus on the 23 City Blocks hospitality business. They run local venues like The Caramel Room, Lumen Private Event Space, and The Chocolate Pig.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed but the Abel family says they will maintain the Bissinger’s brand and will continue to sell it separately from their own.
“It’s really important for us to tell everybody there will be a Bissinger’s and it’s going to be the Bissinger’s name and Bissinger’s boxes using the exact Bissinger’s recipes,” said Dan Abel Jr., second-generation chocolatier.
Abel Jr. said the Bissinger’s name is as iconic as Ted Drewes in St. Louis.
His sister, company vice president Christina Abel, said having two brands will allow for even more opportunities.
“We have so much fun coming up with new flavors,” she said. “Now we have a different platform to be creative in a different way.”
The deal will have no impact on the event space known as the Carmel Room, which is located on N. Broadway and can be spotted by the giant Bissinger’s sign on top of the building. The space is owned by a separate company. The owner plans on sending letters to anyone who has booked an event to let them know nothing will change.
The Bissinger’s kitchen, staff, and some equipment have been moved into the Chocolate Chocolate Chocolate Company's plant on The Hill.
DE SOTO, Mo. – A Missouri man who became part of an international story is being remembered for his selflessness. When Craig Akers’ son, Shawn Hornbeck, went missing, Akers also helped other parents find children who had disappeared.
On Monday night, friends and family arrive at the Mahn Funeral Home in DeSoto for the visitation of Craig Akers. He was 57.
“Craig was a dedicated family man. He will be missed,” said Dawn Robertson, a family friend.
When his 11-year-old son was kidnapped in October 2002, Craig became very dedicated in finding his boy. Shawn was found alive and his kidnapper arrested in January 2007. During those years of not knowing where Shawn was, Craig reached out to other families.
“Anytime a child was missing he was the first one—sick as a dog—get up and try to help,” said friend Angela Forshee.
That’s what many folks remember about Craig – his selflessness.
“It’s a good feeling knowing somebody that would do good for anybody,” said Hattie Wall.
“It has touched everyone, what this family’s been through, and what Craig did for other families also,” said Todd Mahn, the owner of the funeral home.
The disappearance and reunion with Shawn made international headlines. His widow, Pam, and son Shawn apparently share a special bond that is helping them during this time of loss.
“They’re doing good. Shawn is grown up. Even now they’re strong together,” said Jason Huncovsky, Akers’ son-in-law.
Akers served in the United States Air Force and was a member of Patriot Guard. Patriot Guard members will escort Akers to his final resting place Tuesday in Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery, where he will be laid to rest with full military honors.
ST. LOUIS - Friday, July 19 marked the one-year anniversary of the duckboat tragedy at Table Rock Lake. The duckboat capsized during turbulent weather on the lake. Seventeen people drowned after being unable to escape the boat.
One of the victims, 69-year-old Bill Asher, was from St. Louis. He was with girlfriend Rose Heupel Hamann, who also died. Asher’s daughter and her attorney spoke with Fox 2 after finishing their settlement.
“To this day, it feels numb still; but you just have to keep going,” said Jennifer Asher, Bill’s daughter.
Jennifer and her two siblings recently won a massive settlement. Their lawyer, John Wilbers, said a confidentiality agreement prevents them from discussing the amount publicly. However, Wilbers said the settlement provides some closure to a horrific incident.
“There’s no way to quantify a loss of life, relationship. That’s priceless. But money does provide a way for closure,” Wilbers said. “They wanted the industry, as far as duckboats, to change.”
No duckboats are allowed to operate in Missouri at the moment and probably never will again. Three employees of the duckboat company, including the boat captain, have been charged in federal court.
Wilbers said the 17 lives lost on the lake were preventable. The National Transportation Safety Board had made recommendations following a 1999 duckboat incident where 13 people died, that duckboats get $12,000 worth of safety precautions added to stop such an incident from happening. However, the boats were never modified.
“This is a company that advertises safe, family fun,” Wilbers said. “We rely on that as consumers. You could have been with your children, I could have been with my children; that’s scary!”
Most of the lawsuits have either been settled or are being settled. Jennifer Asher said without the guidance of her attorneys, her family wouldn’t be where they are.
She said the family is happy with the settlement and getting duckboats off Missouri waters but it can’t bring her dad back.
“Everyone he met, there was never a stranger. He befriended everyone them and they walked away knowing who Bill Asher was,” she said. “He was a legend here in St. Louis and he’s my hometown hero.”
ST. LOUIS - Attorney General Eric Schmitt tells our You Paid For It investigators that criminals have become emboldened. We spoke with the attorney general about the rising homicides in the city of St Louis and what can be done to turn the bad situation around.
The attorney general has started A Safer Streets Initiative, deputizing five state prosecutors as assistant US attorneys. In the past month, they're gotten four indictments against wrongdoers. Schmitt expects those state prosecutors to handle up to 300 cases against violent criminals
MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A Memphis man who was recorded unsuccessfully trying to back his wheelchair away from exploding fireworks has been given a new motorized chair since the video went viral.
Thankfully Terry Davis wasn't hurt when his wheelchair malfunctioned, but there's much more to his story.
Back Up Terry! - YouTube
"Oh, people don't know what I have to deal with on a daily basis," he told WREG.
Davis suffered a serious spinal injury 10 years ago, and he's struggled with many setbacks in trying to get a new chair. But on Monday, he turned the page to a new chapter in his story with the donation of a new wheelchair.
"I'm so happy that everybody helped make this come true for me," Davis said.
After learning he needed a new wheelchair, Quantum Rehab and Team Adaptive reached out to make it happen.
"Oh my goodness. It meant the world. It made my heart smile. It's nice to work for a company that's willing to give back and do something for folks who need it and deserve it," April Allen, with Quantum Rehab, said.
Davis now has a customized state-of-the-art chair designed specifically to meet the needs of his injuries. This will improve his daily life, give him more mobility and ease the burden of his caretakers.
"That's going to help my mother to get back and forth. Now she won't have to go back and forth to get his things from Walmart. It's going to improve his life so much more," Davis' mother Annette Carter said.
The family originally set up a GoFundMe account for a new wheelchair. They're using the money to purchase a wheelchair accessible van for Davis and modifications to his home.